Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said with Pakistan like other parts of the world hit by the second wave of COVID-19, it was not going for a complete lockdown but would only shut the non-essential sectors, including public gatherings, to save its poor people as well as economy from the severe consequences.
“With the high level of poverty and the lessons learned from the first wave of COVID-19, we cannot afford the lockdown of businesses and factories, where people are employed,” he said while addressing the Country Strategy Dialogue (CSD) on Pakistan organized by the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The prime minister spoke on various subjects, including how the country tackled the first wave of COVID-19 through effective measures and saved the people from economic effects, the strategy for second wave of coronavirus, the government’s policies for economic revival, and economic opportunities being created by the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Dilating on the successful strategy to cope with the first wave of coronavirus, he said after realizing the worst economic impact of complete lockdown, the government adopted the strategy of smart lockdown on hot spots and quickly opened the construction sector followed by other businesses to save the poor and daily wage earners from hunger.
The prime minister also mentioned the distribution of unprecedented cash assistance among 15 million poor people, including those rendered jobless due to the lockdown, to save them from hunger.
He also mentioned the economic challenges faced by the country, including fiscal deficit, current account deficit, trade deficit, etc. And said the government tackled them by cutting down expenditures and imports, increasing exports, attracting foreign direct investment, receiving more workers remittances, and checking money laundering.